London is the capital of the United Kingdom and England. It lies on the riverThames. It has population of 8 million people. It includes the City ofLondonand 32 boroughs. London is the seat of the Queen, Parliament, the government and the Supreme Court (Nejvyšší soud).Londonis a financial and commercial center. The London Stock Exchange is the worlds biggest. In 2012 there was Summer Olympics.
The city is 2000 years old. The Celts settled the territory of today’s Londonin 800 B.C. About 50 A.D. the Romans established Roman Londonium. The Romans left in the 5th century and Londonium remained the capital of the Britons. In the 12th century William the Conqueror (Norman king) moved fromWinchester toLondon. In 1666 the Great Fire of London destroyed 4/5 of the city. The architect Sir Christopher Wren constructed many new buildings including famousSt. Paul’s Cathedral.
The Portof Londonis accessible from the sea for large cargo ships. But now it is not as important as in history. There are five airports – Heathrow, Gatwick. Many trains to other cities go from London. Underground in Londonis called the tube. It is the world’s oldest.London is famous for red double–deckers and black taxis.
- Central London is where most of famous sights are. It has many parts – the oldest are The City of London
- The City is the largest financial and commercial center of Europe.
The city of London
- The Tower of London is the most popular tourist attraction. It used to be a royal home, a prison and now it is a museum of weapons. The guards of the tower are called beefeaters.
- Tower Bridge can be raised in the middle, so ships can go through.
- The largest church of the City is St. Paul’s Cathedral. It was built in the baroque style by Sir Christopher Wren. Weddings and funeral services of famous people are held there.
The City of Westminster
- There are situated the Houses of Parliament. They are seat of British Parliament and are divided into 2 branches – the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Big Ben is tower named after the bell which has its name after Sir Benjamin Hall.
- Trafalgar Square – In the middle of the square is Admiral Nelson’s column. Close to the square is Downing Street 10 – Home of Prime Minister
- Buckingham Palace – seat of the Queen
- Piccadilly Circus – In the center of it is the Fountain with the statue of Eros.
- St. James Park is the oldest and has a lake with many islands and water-birds.
- Hyde Park is the most popular with its famous Speaker’s Corner. Everybody can speak there publicly about all topics except the Queen.
- Kensington Gardens – there stands the Albert Memorial. Opposite to the memorial stands the Albert Hall, large concert hall for over 5000 people.
- Regent’s park has attractive gardens, lakes and the zoo founded in 1826.
- Londonis the centre of English drama. Most of the theatres are grouped in West End.
- The National theatre, the Barbican Centre (there plays Royal Shakespeare company when they are in London) – there is the Barbican Hall for conferences and concert, and Barbican theatre.
Museums and Galleries
- The British Museum – founded in 1753, it includes the British Library with over 11 million volumes.
- The Victoria and Albert Museum – a collection of arts
- Madame Tussaud’s wax Museum – figures of famous people
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